Yosel (Yosef) Frankel

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Yosel (Yosef) Frankel

Also Known As: "Josiel", "Frenkel", "Frenkiel", "Josel"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Ratnyčia, Druskininkai, Druskininkų savivaldybė, Alytaus apskritis, Lithuania
Death: February 1904 (65-66)
Przerośl, Suwalki, Poland
Place of Burial: Przerośl, suwalski, Podlaskie Voivodeship, Poland
Immediate Family:

Son of Abram Frankel and Leah Frankel
Husband of Chava Frankel
Father of Rochla Leja Bryman; Julius Frankel; Charles Frankel; Mortchaj Frankel; Estera Frankel and 8 others
Brother of Dovid Tevel Frankel; Sora Frankel; Khaika (Chaya) Frankel; Leiba Frankel; Movsha Frenkel and 2 others
Half brother of Sheyna Feyga Temkin

Managed by: Hatte Anne Blejer
Last Updated:

About Yosel (Yosef) Frankel

Updated the birth year -- 11 years earlier (July 2018). See below, changed his birthdate to 1838 (July 2021).

His son's birth certificate reads as follows (and thus give his date of birth, if the translation and the facts are correct). Notice also that he was a resident of Sejny, where we know he lived from the birth of his eldest child, Rocha Leah, there.

"Akt 3 It happened in The place of Przerosl on the 17 of January of the year 1859 at 8 in the morning. The Jew Josiel Abramowicz Frenkiel, worker, age 31 years of Seyn [could this be Sejny?] living in Przerosl, along with witnesses Peltyn Osipow, sexton age 52 and Chemio Aron Grodzienski, tavern keeper, age 42 both of Przerosl, appeared and stated that on the 8 of January in Przerosl his legal wife Chawa Lejbowna, age 22 gave birth at 10 in the evening to a boy who was named Leyba. The document was read and witnessed and signed."

It looks like there is a discrepancy between this record which gives his age as 31 in 1859 and the Revision List from May 26, 1858 which says he was 19 and had left Merkine for an unknown reason in 1857. I'm wondering if he was perhaps 21 in 1859 when Julius was born. That makes sense since he was supposedly 66 in 1904 when he passed away. So I believe he was born in 1838, not 1828, making him one year younger than his wife, if she was truly 22 in 1859.


Y-DNA is G2a3b1a1b1a (his great great grandson and a related branch of Frankel family from Ratynicia were tested).

Update from December 2011: Based upon DNA testing, there is no doubt that Yosel Frankel was from the Ratnycia Frankel family. See the Frankel family project link to the right for details. He was the son of Abram (c. 1817), son of Tsalko (c. 1796), son of Leiba (c. 1771), son of Efroim (c. 1746), possibly son of Tsalko (c. 1720).

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Note 6/12/10: I found the family I believe are the family that Josel (Iosel) Frankel descends from and it makes perfect sense. They are the Frankel family of Merkine (Meretch), Lithuania. This is also where Issac Margolis (Judah Lejb's brother) settled, where Issac's son, Max Margolis the famous philologist, was born in 1842 which would make him a contemporary of Josel/Iosel Frankel. The dates and the family names match well. Josel's father is Abram, which we know to be his father's name. His grandfather is Tsalko, which is a family name in our family (Charles), starting with Josel's son Charles.

Josel Frankel of Merkine had a brother, David who appears to be 2 years younger. There was a large number of Frankels in Merkine, which fits with the later marriages of Josel's son Charles to his cousin, Rosa Frankel and of his daughter, Rebecca to her cousin, Leo son of Hirsch. I still need to investigate and get Geni to undo the initial (definitely) erroneous set of parents I postulated for Josel.

Joseph's son Judah (Joseph J Frankel of Iowa) says he died at age 66 in Feb 1904, which would mean he was born in 1838, but that would make him younger than his wife (a possibility I guess). According to his son he was a contractor and grain dealer and very successful.

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Sources [Hatte Rubenstein Blejer, Joseph Fraenkel's second great granddaughter]: We know his year of birth and death from an entry in a turn of the century book about prominent businessmen of Iowa on Joseph Frankel and Eva Margolis' son, Joseph J. Frankel of Centreville, Iowa.

Others know that the husband of Chava Margolis was Joseph ben Abram.

According to Neil Rosenstein (1984 The Margolis Family), Joseph Frankel's children married Frankel cousins --

Charles married Rosa Frankel of NYC, daughter of another Joseph and Louise. Rosenstein speculates that Rosa's father and Joseph Frankel were named after the same grandfather and were cousins.

Rebecca Frankel, another child, married Leo C. Frankel, son of Hirsch Frankel and settled in Philadelphia.

That might mean that there were Frankels in NYC and Philadephia and possibly in Illinois where Charles first went who were relatives in the late 1800s.


The earliest mention of Jews in Merkinė is dated 1539, when a dispute was adjudicated (July 8) between a Jew named Konyuk and a Christian in regard to a debt of the former. In 1551 the Jews of Merech were named among those of fourteen other towns to be exempted from the special tax ("Serebshchizna") levied upon all inhabitants, with the exception of villagers and Jews, at the Polish diet held in that year (Nov. 27) at Vilnius. Merkinė produced in the nineteenth century some noted Hebrew scholars, as Mordecai Melzer, Isaac b. Elijah Margolis (d. New York 1887), and his son Max Margolis, of the University of California.[1] The town was called (מערעטש) Meretch in Yiddish.

A mass grave of Lithuanian Jews killed during the Nazi occupation is in the forest behind the town.

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Yosel (Yosef) Frankel's Timeline

1838
1838
Ratnyčia, Druskininkai, Druskininkų savivaldybė, Alytaus apskritis, Lithuania
1856
1856
Sejny, Suwalki Gubernia, Biyalystok Province, Poland
1859
January 8, 1859
Przerośl, suwalski, Podlaskie Voivodeship, Poland
1860
September 15, 1860
Przerośl, Suwalki, Poland
1862
1862
Przerośl, suwalski, Podlaskie Voivodeship, Poland
1865
1865
1867
1867
Przerośl, suwalski, Podlaskie Voivodeship, Poland
1868
1868
Przerosl, Podlaskie, Poland
1871
September 26, 1871
Przerośl, suwalski, Podlaskie Voivodeship, Poland